Home History Eric's La Salle Bill Savage's Bike

Alan Bonds inspired retro bomber

1938 Schwinn "clunken-stein"


When I met Alan I was taken with the modern fit and function of his "Millennium Flyer" - a Schwinn DX frame with alloy Sturmey Archer front drum, MRP cartridge BB adapter with White Industries cranks and front sprocket, and a Shimano 8-speed rear planetary hub. This elegant retro cruiser offered a completly different riding experience from any clunker I had seen or ridden.

Alan's Schwinn DX - Millennium Flyer.

I knew I had to try it myself, so the collecting of more parts began.

During the course of various clunker builds I ended up with a straight albeit rough 1938 Schwinn autocycle frame - claimed originally badged as a REX as near as I can tell it's a B97 frame.

1938 "REX", another thank you ebay.

Alan planted another seed in my head - he had seen an old Schwinn bike that had a threadless headset fit to run a modern suspension fork. Having put a few runs down Tam on the 1936 La Salle (getting older...not wiser) the idea was appealing - I also wanted modern braking in the equation. A few different headsets were checked against the Schwinn head tube and the decision was made to use a BMX style 1" threadless setup - it would fit the stock tube with no fuss and allow return to Schwinn components. Marzocchi MX Comp Air fork with disk mounts was located, to that was added White Industries M16 front hub, Avid BB7 brakes with 8" rotors and the familiar polished Rhyno Lites with WTB Nano Raptors.

8" front disc - a long way from drums or cantilevers.

Pro Taper moto cross bar with Avid levers and Salsa stem complete the controls. It took some time but Nexus-8 rear hub with 70mm fin cooled roller brake and 19T sprocket finally arrived. YST bottom bracket fit to White Industries 38T sprocket provide a SS-look driveline.

Controls and Driveline.

B72 seat, reinforced Schwinn seatpost and Campagnolo quick release binder provide clunker comforts.

Clunker comforts.

Alan was kind enough to have the frame cleaned and sand blasted, his time and talent also provided the "eye candy" - black and white speartip paint job with with signature flying wheel (with a twist).

"8" was the theme for the bike (1938 frame, 19T-38T sprockets, 8-speeds, 8" front disk) so Alan hand painted a "Flying 8" logo on the seat tube - magnificent!

Eye candy.

In the words of Mister Bonds - it's about as far as you can take a pre war frame.

1938 Bomber with period correct fighter escort ;-)

Thanks Again Alan!